Australia’s first naval battle in the Indian Ocean was the HMAS Sydney II and the SS Kormoran in World War II, right? The one where both vessels disappeared and weren’t found until recently? World War I didn’t affect the Indian Ocean at all…
Wrong, actually. The Royal Australian Navy’s first battle at sea did involve the HMAS Sydney. She was built in 1913 and broken up in 1929 – now many of the bits are scattered around Sydney and Perth, as part of monuments. The HMAS Sydney II wasn’t built until 1933. The only bit of the original Sydney that took part in the battle in 1941 was the ship’s bell – passed from one Sydney to another. Sadly, the bell went down with the ship and all aboard her.
So which was the first battle? How did World War I spill into Australian territory? Who won? And at what cost?
Find out in this week’s episode of Demelza Carlton’s Cursed Coast:
I must apologise – my voice got a little teary at the end of this video. How could I not? It was war and victory came at the cost of men’s lives.
Next post (tomorrow) will be a snippet of Necessary Evil of Nathan Miller – don’t get into cars with strangers. You never know what they’ll do…